Twitter users @HenryKrinkle and @EmmaQuangel used a Reverse Whois lookup to locate a manifesto posted at LastRhodesian.net and registered to Dylann Roof's name, which appears to be a white supremacist manifesto by the suspected Charleston shooter.
It includes statements like "I chose Charleston because it is [the] most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country," which should clarify that, despite the doubts of conservative skeptics, this was an act motivated by racism.
Some key excerpts that help us understand Roof's ideological development.
Racial awakening inspired by Trayvon Martin
"The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case," he writes. "I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was."
Educated by organized white supremacists
Roof explains that the Martin case inspired him to seek out more information online, where other white supremacist groups helped educate him about racial conflict in the United States. "The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens," he writes. "There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?"
Inspired by South Africa and the Confederacy
The massacre in Charleston has rekindled debate on the display of Confederate symbols in America's South. Roof is clear that the memory of slavery is important to him.
"Some people feel as though the South is beyond saving, that we have too many blacks here," he says, but he disagrees. "To this I say look at history. The South had a higher ratio of blacks when we were holding them as slaves. Look at South Africa, and how such a small minority held the black in apartheid for years and years."
The toxic influence of "lost cause" mythology
Roof addresses the role of slavery in American history, saying he has "read hundreds of slave narratives" from the state of South Carolina and "almost all of them were positive. One sticks out in my mind where an old ex-slave recounted how the day his mistress died was one of the saddest days of his live."
This reflects a school of historiography that is not really as marginal as one might think. At different times and places in American history it has widely been taught that slavery was a not-inhumane system, and that emancipation was not so beneficial to the freed slaves.
Thoughts on other races
While the manifesto expresses straightforward loathing of black people, its take on other races is more nuanced. "Unlike many White nationalists," it says, "I am of the opinion that the majority of American and European jews are White. In my opinion the issues with jews is not their blood, but their identity."
In addition "there are good hispanics and bad hispanics" and "there is good White blood worht [sic] saving in Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and even Brasil." That said "they are still our enemies."
By contrast, "I have great respent [sic] for the East Asian races. Even if we were to go extinct they could carry something on. They are by nature very racist and could be great allies of the White race. I am not opposed at all to allies with the Northeast Asian races."